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geoffgjones Started conversation May 7, 2009
I noticed in the piece about Ben Franklin that he is being credited with discovering that lightening is electricity and even the invention of the lightening rod. These were in use in Germany long before B. Franklin did his experiment. Indeed, he was seen as a bit of a madman in Europe for carrying out such a dangerous and worthless experiment as flying a kit in a thunder storm.
If you ask most Americans who invented the motor car, can you guess who they would say?
The President of the USA himself thought that democracy started there......
Please do not get carried away with the American view of invention and discovery! Check non-American sources FIRST.
shagbark Posted Jan 2, 2011
Perhaps it would be better to say they perfected the inventions and the way they were made.
One source says Franklin began to advocate lightning rods that had sharp points. His English colleagues favored blunt-tipped lightning rods, reasoning that sharp ones attracted lightning and increased the risk of strikes; they thought blunt rods were less likely to be struck. King George III had his palace equipped with a blunt lightning rod. When it came time to equip the colonies' buildings with lightning rods, the decision became a political statement. The favored pointed lightning rod expressed support for Franklin's theories of protecting public buildings and the rejection of theories supported by the King. The English thought this was just another way for the flourishing colonies to be disobedient to them.
Then there is the motor car. small numbers of them may have been built in Europe , but it was Henry ford and his assemby line that made motorcars a household item.
And take computers- there is a prototype of an early computer in the Museum at manchester England, but it was IBM and Apple (both US Firms) that got everyone using them.
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